Every college football team wants to win the national title. Only one team can win it every season, of course, and that team is usually the Alabama Crimson Tide or Clemson Tigers (although not in 2021). There’s another title that teams from the ACC to the Big Ten to the Pac-12 can vie for, though: the best uniforms in college football.
Thanks to companies like Adidas, Nike and Under Armour wanting to rake in that sweet, sweet cash, we get about a million different uniform combinations every season. Even a school like the TCU Horned Frogs has a variety of alternate uniforms these days. As such, when we are talking football uniforms, we gave extra credit to a school’s “classic look.” Also, we are only looking at FBS teams, with all due respect to the other NCAA schools. We know there are killer looks at the FCS level as well.
We do want to throw out a few honorable mentions. If you are a fan of a simple look, you probably dig the Penn State Nittany Lions basic combo of white and navy blue. That stripe on the helmet? A lovely touch. No Florida schools made the cut, but all three of the Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles and Miami Hurricanes all got close. We dig orange, so Auburn and Tennessee both have color schemes that got our attention.
Some iconic schools with iconic uniforms didn’t make it either. The Georgia Bulldogs and Oklahoma Sooners have storied programs but staid looks. We also may disappoint fans of all-black or heavy-black uniforms like Iowa or some Baylor looks. If any school finished 11th, it was probably Arizona State.
OK, with all that taken care of, here are the 10 best uniforms in college football.
10. UCLA Bruins
Chip Kelly hasn’t quite turned the Bruins around yet, but man do we love that baby blue and gold. The white look isn’t bad, but when they are decked out in the school colors the Bruins are a thing of beauty. All the main looks have to be considered, though, and the white uniforms drop the Bruins to 10.
9. Texas Longhorns
?When your school is associated with a color it’s probably a good sign. For Texas, it’s burnt orange. The white helmet and the white pants with the burnt orange jerseys? That just screams football down south. The Longhorn fans can enjoy the fact they beat out both Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
8. Boise State Broncos
They play on a loud, boisterous field of bright blue. The Broncos wear blue-on-blue or orange-on-orange. It shouldn’t work, like those Seahawks jerseys in the NFL that feature a blinding neon green. However, they do. Boise State draws attention to itself with its look, and we appreciate the confidence.
7. Ohio State Buckeyes
Personally, we don’t dig the stickers on the helmet because it makes Ohio State’s look not uniform. If not for that mistake, the Buckeyes would be even higher on this list. The color scheme is gorgeous with great striping on the pants and the helmet. Ditch the stickers and make our top five.
6. North Carolina Tar Heels
It’s all about that blue. When you see it on your screen it looks amazing. You pair it with white because anything else would just draw attention from it. You may think of North Carolina’s basketball uniforms over the football uniforms. The football look is still great.
5. Oregon Ducks
?Oregon has Nike behind them, which is both a blessing and a curse. They have like half a dozen looks, and too many of them have metallic gray and those dumb wings on the shoulders. That being said, we have to consider those throwback uniforms as well. The simple look with that green-and-yellow combo? If they wore those all the time the Ducks would top this list. It’s the best look in college football. It’s also just one of a handful of looks Oregon rocks.
4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
?Some people find Notre Dame a bit snooty. They are riding their history too much. Quibble if you must, but they have great uniforms. It’s rightfully an iconic look. The Fighting Irish uniforms scream “college football.” They are here not by reputation, but by merit.
3. LSU Tigers
What if somebody took the Minnesota Vikings’ look and made it better? That’s LSU’s look in a nutshell. The purple jerseys with the gold pants? Absolutely glorious. There is just enough white thrown in the mix to highlight the colors and accentuate the beautiful color combo of purple and gold. The Tigers also have great helmets.
2. USC Trojans
Man, Los Angeles has some wonderful football uniforms, huh? The Trojans have great looks both home and away. Wearing more white does not diminish the look of the school colors at all. They wisely pretty much always wear their golden yellow pants. USC also has iconic helmets, of course. If we had one quibble? We don’t love when uniforms don’t have names on them. A couple of those teams make this list, but it is a mark against any school.
1. Michigan Wolverines
They finally beat the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Michigan State Spartans are no match for them this season. The Michigan Wolverines have their sights set on making the college football playoff, and they look damn good doing it.
Michigan has, and likely will always have, the best uniforms in college football. There is no better look than the maize-and-blue of the Wolverines’ home uniforms. It’s iconic. It’s historic. There is no better helmet in college football. Other looks come close, but nobody beats Michigan. Hail to the Victors.
This post was originally published on August 6, 2021.